July 6, 2010
This amazing day started in the early afternoon with my being able to watch Roger and the band perform their sound check. What a wonderful experience that was. Almost like my own private concert. It is so very interesting to be able to witness the "behind the scenes” preparations that go into each and every concert. Roger and each member of the band, Aaron, Bryan, Ian, and Kevin, wanted to make there that everything was perfect for the audience that would be arriving in a few hours for the sold out show.
Roger was the first scheduled artist to perform at the brand new $100 million dollar Moncton Casino and Resort in New Brunswick, Canada. What better way to christen a venue than a performance by Roger Hodgson. The grand opening of the casino hotel was literally on the day we arrived. Everything was sparkly and new.
While walking through the venue before the show, I noticed crowds started arriving for the concert a full two hours before the show. Many people were mingling about outside the doors of the venue, eagerly awaiting the concert performance that would stay with them a lifetime.
The moment Roger and the band walked out on stage, there was a standing ovation from the capacity crowd. This would be only the first of four standing ovations that Roger would receive throughout the concert. The show started with "Take the Long Way Home.” The audience was singing along and swaying to the music.
Roger was in fine humor this night. At one point he told the audience that he could not remember exactly what year it was that he last played in the area. Shouts of "1978” rang out and Roger said "What? 1948?” Elsewhere in the show, Roger said that "One in twenty Canadians owned copies of the Crime of the Century and Breakfast in America albums.” Incredible applause followed only for Roger to follow up the applause with "But this next song is from neither of those albums.” While the audience was still laughing, the beginning of "Easy Does It” could be heard.
Standing ovations came after "The Logical Song” and "Dreamer.” It was wonderful to see the tremendous amount of warmth and love being shown to Roger. He told the audience that he "hoped to make this an annual event” and the applause was almost thunderous.
There was something for everyone at the show. Roger performed many of the classics he wrote and composed that he recorded while he was with Supertramp and he also performed some amazing songs from his solo albums. I really enjoyed hearing "Child of Vision” again and "The Awakening,” a hauntingly beautiful unrecorded song that Roger sometimes has as part of his set.
Once again, the end of the show brought another standing ovation for Roger. I would bet that every single person in that audience does hope that Roger makes this an annual event. Everyone could have listened to him for hours more. Another fine, fine performance.
About two hours after the concert, I had a very nice conversation with a cleaning lady who was working in the corridor directly outside the venue. She told me that she had heard so many wonderful comments about the show and that people were just awestruck as to how terrific it was. She said that she hopes Roger does come back next year and that she would love to be able to see the show. What she said next was so very moving. She said "Earlier tonight while I was working, I could hear him and his voice gave me goosebumps.” Yes, Roger does have that affect on people.